Not only are West Berkshire Brewery a seasoned brewer with 25 years of experience in the world of malt, yeast and hops, they also run a portfolio of pubs under their Maverick Pubs moniker. They also have ambition to expand further, having just completed a successful seedrs campaign to source £750,000 of crowdfunding. According to press releases from WBB, this money is earmarked to be poured into further pub acquisition, further marketing, and technology to help them produce canned beers quicker. This means it should hopefully be easier to get our hands on their AF beers in the future, which is great news as I’ve thoroughly enjoyed them all so far. The last of WBB’s non-alcoholic offerings I have left to review is their Peach Pale, so lets get on with the preamble.
WBB Peach Pale continues with the striking Solo branding, designed by Glasgow-based drinks design agency Thirst Craft, though compared to Pale and Pilsner I’d say the colouring has less of a visual impact. It does however suit the purported peach flavours teased by the name. Peach is not something I’ve consciously seen as an ingredient in a beer before. There are many ales that have the aromas and tastes of stone fruit, thanks to the hops used in their brewing process, so I suppose there is no reason to try and up the peachy flavour of a beer by using some of the fruit itself. However, adding fruit to beer can be a barrier to many seasoned drinkers who are only interested in traditional flavours and brewing methods. So, is WBB Solo Peach Pale a decent beer or more of a fruit cocktail?
Opening the chilled can the beer promptly exploded all over the table. After mopping up the mess and wiping a tear from my eye, I opened another, this time held over the sink. This can also exploded, although this time I managed to funnel most of the liquid into a relevant vessel. In fact every one of the four Solo Peach Pales I bought exploded in the same way. They had all been stored upright in my fridge for at least 5 days prior to opening. Something to work on here methinks.
The liquid is deep golden in colour with slight fogginess, and despite the explosion, there was a small head with decent retention. On the nose the aroma is undoubtedly peachy, though less fresh fruit and more fruit cordial. A hint of pine also makes itself known.
Tasting the beer we get a burst of initial sharp bitterness, which then moves on to mellow peach/apricot flavours with a touch of sweetness. We get a slightly creamy mouthfeel, and a bitter finish with some citrus notes.
The peach flavours in WBB Solo Peach Pale are slightly too artificial tasting for my liking, but are not strong enough to dominate the beer, resulting in a pleasant pale ale experience with a bit more sweetness than usual. My favourite is still the unadulterated WBB Solo Pale Ale and this would be my recommendation for traditional ale drinkers, but if you’re in the mood for something more fruity this is a fine drink. Just open it outside or with a raincoat on.
Nutritional Information (per 100ml)
0.5% alcohol by volume
other information not published
Water, Malted Barley, Wheat, Hops, Peach Syrup, Yeast
(taken from the side of the can)
WBB Alcohol-Free Peach Pale Ale Review
This pale ale explodes with fruity flavour and literally explodes when opened. Probably not to everyone’s tastes, but packs a good amount of fruit in a pleasing pint.